The episode opens with Cannibal Angst Hour, wherein Hannibal wears all black, sits brooding in an unlit corner, and talks about Will Graham, while Bedelia looks on in mild exasperation. I can only assume that Hannibal requested that Bedelia also wear black out of respect for his grief.
They talk about Hannibal’s encounter with Will in Palermo and the fact that Will said he forgives Hannibal. Bedelia points out that forgiveness requires two: the betrayer and the betrayed. Hannibal isn’t sure anymore which one he is, but he agrees that feeling of betrayal is something akin to love.
“You cannot control with respect to whom you fall in love,” he says, which might be a very awkwardly phrased love confession, but also maybe not.
Bedelia tells Hannibal that he’s going to be caught and that she’s no longer concerned about herself. She knows what she has to do to get out of this situation. Did you hear that, Hannibal?? Bedelia is scheming!! Maybe you should pay more attention to her?
No? Okay, then. Carry on.
Meanwhile, after Will Graham failed to catch Hannibal in that high speed catacomb chase last episode, he did the next logical thing: he traveled 2000 miles to Lithuania to feel closer to Hannibal. Oh, the irony.
I’m of the humble opinion that Will should have locked the catacomb doors and starved that hungry, hungry cannibal out. But perhaps he wasn’t entirely sure Hannibal was even at the chapel?. If so, do you think he goes around calling out Hannibal’s name on the off chance that Hannibal is nearby and can hear? I really hope so.
Anyway, Lithuania. Will Graham is trying to be sneaky and failing miserably. He approaches Hannibal’s childhood home with all of the delicacy and finesse of a drunk elephant. He tries the front gate, finds it locked, and climbs over Hannibal’s walls, which is a nice callback to past conversations, but also allows me to use this caption again:
After Will checks some of the doors (locked again, dammit!) and the nearby cemetery (where Mischa is buried), he pulls out some binoculars and spies on the house that he was just all up on.
He then has a nice mind therapy chat with his imago!Hannibal, but Will is the one asking questions now, while Hannibal is taking his turn as patient. They talk about Hannibal’s memory palace and how it kind of sounds like a really fucked up place??
“Screams fill some of those places, but the corridors do not echo screaming… because I hear music,” he says.
Remind me to scratch off Hannibal’s memory palace from my mental list of fictional/ imaginary locales to visit when I’m in Europe because yikes.
Will is yanked out of his musings by a gunshot. Chiyoh is out shooting a bird dinner for her captive cannibal. Will hides, but Chiyoh is so fucking on to him.
Meanwhile, in Florence Hannibal and Bedelia are wining and dining Dr. Sogliato. Hannibal serves him some Arm of Anthony Dimmond and Punch Romaine, which is a cocktail that was served to the first class guests of the Titanic.
Now, I went through a wide range of emotions during this scene. But instead of telling you, I’ll show you my emotional journey using screen caps of Bedelia and Sogliato (with closed captioning provided).
After Hannibal’s not very subtle Punch Romaine/ Titanic stab, I was like:
After Hannibal stabbed Sogliato in the temple with an icepick, I was like:
And for the rest of the scene, I was like:
It was quite the roller coaster.
Anyway, Bedelia pulls the ice pick from Sogliato’s head (which TECHNICALLY makes her his killer, as Hannibal drily points out) and realizes that Hannibal is drawing “all of them” to him.
It turns out that “all of them” includes Jack Crawford, who’s here to kill his season entrances and take names (probably).
He takes a seat at the Norman Chapel in Palermo and looks through the Anthony Dimmond crime scene photos. He is shortly joined by Pazzi, who tries to convince him to return to Florence with him to catch Il Mostro. Jack isn’t here for the monster, though: “Not my house, not my fire. I’m here for Will Graham.”
Hey, remember Season 1 Jack?
A+ character development, Jack. I hope you wear awesome hats and have epic entrances for many seasons to come.
Back in Lithuania, Will Graham is wandering around in the dark until he encounters a fountain surrounded by fireflies, and everything is incredibly pretty. I never knew I needed a scene of Will Graham surrounded by fireflies until I saw this scene. Thank you, show. Oh, and there are also a shit ton of snails everywhere.
Will again spies on the house and waits until Chiyoh leaves the cannibal dungeon to break in. In the dungeon, he finds Hannibal’s insane syphilitic wife.
Oh, wait never mind. That’s a different story about love and betrayal. What Will really finds is the cannibal that allegedly ate Mischa Lecter. Shortly after Will discovers this nameless individual (henceforth Nameless Cannibal), Chiyoh and her large gun find Will.
Will claims to be Hannibal’s friend, which is probably not the best strategy to gain someone’s trust, but Chiyoh decides not to shoot him on sight and leads him out of the dungeon at gunpoint. After Will figures out that Nameless Cannibal ate Mischa, he tells Chiyoh that he knows Hannibal intimately.
“Nakama?” she asks.
But nakama is really Japanese for “very close friends.”
Will shows Chiyoh the scar Hannibal gave him and she finally lowers her gun.
“All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story,” Chiyoh says. “Tell me a story.” Will tells her his story.
Two thousand miles away in Florence, Bedelia and Hannibal are now wining and dining an Italian couple. For dinner, Hannibal has made Purple Artichokes with and assortment of Dr. Sogliato’s Organs.
One of the guests says it tastes divine. Hannibal agrees, but, he assures her, without ego (HA!!).
“I don’t require conventional reinforcement,” Hannibal claims, which is great for him because I doubt Hannibal had very many people around when he was growing up giving him positive reinforcement like “Hey, Hannibal. Awesome murder tableau! You should make more just like it!” or “I heard that cannibal pun you made at dinner, Hannibal. Your humor is on point as usual!” Life must be difficult for a young cannibal just starting out.
After Hannibal says that he first prepared this dish in honor of his sister, everyone happily noms on their people food, while Bedelia (who is still eating oysters, acorns, and Marsala by the way) looks on in mild disgust…
…and Hannibal frankly looks delighted by everything happening right now.
Meanwhile back in Lithuania, Will has finished telling Chiyoh his story.
It’s Chiyoh’s turn to tell her story, or rather Hannibal’s story. She admits that the only reason that she knows Nameless Cannibal killed Mischa is because Hannibal told her so. She also insinuates that Will is there to kill her.
Will reassures her that if he were like Hannibal he would have already killed her and fed her to him.
Will tells her the reason he’s looking for Hannibal: “I’ve never known myself as well as I know myself when I’m with him.” Yeesh, the subtlety train left the canon station some time around the nakama conversation.
Chiyoh says that she wouldn’t let Hannibal kill Nameless Cannibal, so Hannibal left her to take care of him. Will points out that Hannibal was curious if she would kill him. Ah, yes, curiosity. The #1 reason shit gets fucked up on Hannibal. In this show, curiosity doesn’t so much kill the cat, but rather all the cat’s friends and close acquaintances (and a myriad of rude strangers).
In Florence, while Hannibal is washing Bedelia’s hair, Bedelia asks him what he was like as a child. Hannibal replies that he was rooting for Mephistopheles and contemptuous of Faust. I’m happy to hear that while young Hannibal was tending to his snail garden and receiving unconventional forms of reinforcement, he was still the pretentious little fuck that we know and love.
Hannibal claims that nothing happened to him to make him into what he is now, he happened (and, oh, did he ever).
“How did your sister taste?” Bedelia asks before disappearing into the bathwater, which is obviously her version of a z-snap.
Meanwhile, Will is being super sneaky again and breaks out Nameless Cannibal from his Cannibal Prison. He lets him go because he wants him to be free. OR DOES HE??
The next scene (which is labeled in my notes as “two detective bros bro-ing out” for some reason), Jack and Pazzi talk about belief and imagination, which is the #2 reason shit gets fucked up on Hannibal.
Jack says that Will understands and accepts Hannibal: “Now, who among us doesn’t want understanding and acceptance?“
But, honestly, that’s a really universal desire that everyone has, and it’s a hell of a lot more relatable of a motivation than curiosity. For instance, I myself have felt the need to be understood and accepted tons of times, but have very rarely felt curious whether the people around me are harboring secret murder feels.
Also, notice the difference between Hannibal and Will’s attraction to the other. Hannibal desires Will’s company because he wants someone to understand him, while Will desires Hannibal’s company because he wants to understand himself better.
Back in at the Lecter estate, Nameless Cannibal proves that he too can be sneaky by pretending to be locked in his Cannibal Prison and attacking Chiyoh when she comes to feed him.
They have a scuffle that ends with Chiyoh stabbing him in the neck, and because Nameless Cannibal lacks both main character status and an official character name, he dies instantly.
Will hears Chiyoh’s scream and comes strolling in after all the action is done. “You did this,” she tells Will. “You set him free.”
Will claims that he wanted to set her free, but Chiyoh knows that on some level he was also CURIOUS what would happen and that Hannibal would be proud of him.
Will is a conventional form of reinforcement kind of guy.
Chiyoh offers to help Will find Hannibal because what the hell else is she gonna do with her life now that she no longer has a Nameless Cannibal to feed birds to? It’s not like the possibilities are endless.
Will then arranges Nameless Cannibal’s body in a firefly murder tableau made out of broken glass, snails, and feathers. Apparently Will Graham’s murder aesthetic is a bit more home-grown and artisanal than Hannibal’s.
In Florence, Bedelia is pointing out some uncomfortable truths to Hannibal while he loudly plays his piano.
She tells him that what Mischa made him feel is no different from what Will Graham makes him feel.
“Love,” Hannibal provides with no prompting. WHOA, that’s the second time the L word has been dropped in this episode. But at least the show is comparing Will and Hannibal’s love to sibling love, otherwise I might have to begin to think they were more than just bros *clutches pearls.*
“If past behavior is an indicator of future behavior, there is only one way you will forgive Will Graham,” Bedelia continues.
And I’m gonna just leave that one right…. there….
But this explains why Hannibal has no friends, if the only way he can forgive someone is by eating them. The life of a mature cannibal is a difficult one.
Episode Highlights: Bedelia’s face, Will’s face surrounded by fireflies, Hannibal’s black and white “I’m still sad, but I’m trying” pinstriped suit, DIY firefly.
Episode Rating: 3/3 Ambiguous Love Confessions